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swim4fitness2
July 29th, 2006, 02:46 PM
This morning while swimming I started feelin pain in my elbow. Anyone else ever experience elbow pain? I am always hearing of shoulder problems but have never heard of elbow pains related to swimming.

Ian
July 30th, 2006, 10:40 AM
Yes, I have an elbow problem too. It started one day in practice last year when I was training breaststroke. Without warning I got a shape pain during the br insweep in the medial epicondyle region of my elbow. Once it started it would hurt on the other strokes too but since I primarily race breaststroke this really hit me hard. It didnít go away but actually got worse over the next few days. I finally went to the orthopedic Dr. and was diagnosed with tendonitis (golferís elbow). He offered three options, surgery, cortisone shot, or physical therapy. I went the conservative route and opted for PT. Progress was slow and I wondered many times if Iíd ever be pain free again. It took a year of PT and faithfully doing my exercises at home, but now my elbow doesnít restrict my workouts. The therapists concluded was my problem was due to muscle imbalance in my upper back and hips and because of that it created a strain that showed up in my elbow.

Andrew
September 22nd, 2006, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by Ian
Yes, I have an elbow problem too. It started one day in practice last year when I was training breaststroke. Without warning I got a shape pain during the br insweep in the medial epicondyle region of my elbow. Once it started it would hurt on the other strokes too but since I primarily race breaststroke this really hit me hard. It didnít go away but actually got worse over the next few days. I finally went to the orthopedic Dr. and was diagnosed with tendonitis (golferís elbow). He offered three options, surgery, cortisone shot, or physical therapy. I went the conservative route and opted for PT. Progress was slow and I wondered many times if Iíd ever be pain free again. It took a year of PT and faithfully doing my exercises at home, but now my elbow doesnít restrict my workouts. The therapists concluded was my problem was due to muscle imbalance in my upper back and hips and because of that it created a strain that showed up in my elbow.

Wow a year to recover!! I am not happy to hear that! I have just injured my felexor tendons and inside elbow, by snapping my arm back during the pull phase and then exiting palm up and flicking the wrist back.

Were you able to continue to swim during your years rehab or did you have to rest your elbow?

Ian
September 24th, 2006, 06:41 AM
I continued to swim though it was not anything close to serious training. I did what my elbow allowed me to do, which for the majority of the time wasn't much. For many months my only goal was just to be able to do easy range-of-motion breaststroke pain free. Good luck with your recovery.

OverTheHill
September 28th, 2006, 08:33 PM
I developed Golfer's Elbow two years ago in both arms. It hurt so bad I couldn't even shake hands. It definitely hurt the most on breaststroke. For a year I followed the conventional strengthening treatments given to me by the orthopedist (wrist curls, stretches, etc). It did not help. Just over a year ago I had both knees scoped to clean up some cartiledge. Since I was going to be laid up for a while, the orthopedist gave me cortisone shots in both elbows. When I started PT for the knees I also had the therapist work with my elbows - mainly massage to increase bloodflow. After many months the pain cleared up. I'm happy to say my arms feel great today. For me the cause was definitely overuse. In addition to swimming I was doing a lot of pullups, chinups, curls, etc. I would swim with my forearms wrapped and lots of Advil. The answer for me was rest.

Today I am much more sensible with my dryland training. I also am a big believer in "The Stick". I use it to massage the forearms and help increase the bloodflow to the area on the inside of the elbow (it's also great for the legs). http://www.thestick.com/

Good luck!

matysekj
September 28th, 2006, 09:36 PM
I had a similar experience as OverTheHill six years ago, but with different results. I spent a full year just kicking most of the time because I couldn't use my right arm. Went through PT the whole time, did lots of ibuprophen and aleve and iced the elbow daily. I even tried a cortisone shot as a last resort, but that just made it feel better for 3 weeks and then the pain came right back. After a year I had it operated on (medial epicondyle release). The surgeon said that the tendon was just barely attached to the bone on either side of the bony point of the medial epicondyle and was detached and jelly-like around the point of the bone. He said it was unlikely to heal on its own based on how far gone it was.

When I got back in the water after the right elbow surgery, the left elbow was hurting nearly as bad. I tried the same routine for that one, but only went 4 months before having the surgery on that one.

After recovery from the surgeries, I still need to be careful with the elbows. They occasionally hurt a little over the years and I take that seriously - ice, rest, and aleve right away so that they don't get bad again. They seem to be holding up pretty well now.

geochuck
September 29th, 2006, 09:19 AM
I have always thought if it hurts don't do it. It is more than likely caused by over doing the fist idea of using the arm from the elbow to the wrist move to you forward. I have noticed a lot of swimmers using this portion of the arm to swim. We must swim from the Lats to the tip of the fingers and not try to just swim from the elbows to the finger tips.

NKMD
September 29th, 2006, 11:24 AM
You need to be careful with using a kick board when your elbow hurts. Using a kick board strains the elbow and compresses the ulnar nerve at times. Any upper body (neck, shoulders, elbow) kicking without a kick board is best and verticle kicking. You can also tape or brace your forearm and swim.

phm41
September 29th, 2006, 07:58 PM
Over the Hill:
What size stick did you get? I just checked out the website and it looks promising, but not sure what I need for the inside of my elbow. I have had chronic tendinitis and the exercises have helped the outside of the elbow, but nothing helps the inside. I had shoulder surgery for a bone spur 6 weeks ago and the therapy for that has re-aggravated the elbow.

OverTheHill
October 1st, 2006, 05:38 PM
I have the Original Body Stick at home and the Marathon Stick at work. The OBS works well for the arms. I pin the stick on the chair on the same side as the arm I'm working on, then use my other arm to roll the stick. The OBS is probably the best choice because it's longer and easier to use on the arms.

Andrew
October 9th, 2006, 12:49 PM
Thank you so much for your reccomendation of "the Stick" - its marvelllous!

SolarEnergy
October 9th, 2006, 12:59 PM
This morning while swimming I started feelin pain in my elbow. Anyone else ever experience elbow pain? I am always hearing of shoulder problems but have never heard of elbow pains related to swimming. Elbow pain is the only upperbody pain I get when swimming freestyle.

In my case, it's just a weakness. The pain occurs as my efficiency improves (yeah I know it sucks...).

The only way to get rid of it (in my case), is to be very, very, very progressive in the transition between the catch phase (in which I apply virtually no pressure) and the active pull through phase. I have to wait until my arm is in a position to apply more pressure.

The best way to increase the pain would be to extend the hand-gliding-in-the-front phase as much as I can, and start applying huge pressure right away with no transition (no acceleration of the hand). I don't think I can stand 200m swimming like this.

I typically swim (moderate to hard pace) at 16-17 strokes per 25m in order to stay healthy (elbow wise). Although, my optimal efficiency is more around 14-15-16 strokes per 25m (14 for the 1th 25m, 15 for a while, 16 when tired). Or course I can train slower at 14-15 with no pain. But I can't push too hard (increasing speed) like this.

So as you see, my solution is to unweight the catch-to-pull transition as much as possible, increase stroke rate a bit, lower dps (distance per stroke).

Your problem may have a different cause though. It may be technical or something else. But that was my 2cents anyway.